How $10,000 of original student loan debt turned into a repayment scheme of 30 plus years

[Economic]
How $10,000 of original student loan debt turned into a repayment scheme of 30 plus years
by Lynn Petrovich
Posted February 8, 2018

student debt slaveryBetween 1984 and 1987 Monica took out $10,000 in student loans. Over the next 30 years she made payments totaling over $24,000, yet she still owes more than $3,000 on her loans.

Monica, like most students entering college right after high school, was a teenager when she signed her student loan contracts. It is apparent she had no idea what kind of indenture she’d “agreed to.” This can be said for the majority of student loan borrowers.

Financial education at the high school level is seriously lacking, if existent at all. Student loans are originated between borrower (student) and lender without much scrutiny, oversight, awareness, or repayment considerations (seriously, what sane person could have thought up this repayment scheme?)

Over the past decade, through tax preparation work – both pro bono and paid – I’ve seen many student loan borrowers who, like Monica, have struggled not only to make ends meet, but also try to understand what’s happening with regard to their student loans. I’ve watched as refundable credits in the thousandsof dollars have been seized by federal and state agencies year after year to pay for student loan debt. More…

The Answer Is Economic Secession

[Political]
The Answer Is Economic Secession
by Derrick Broze
Posted February 8, 2018

make the existing paradigm obsolete with your moneyIf we move beyond simply applying secession to nation-states ( i.e., how and by whom we are ruled) we can amplify the effectiveness of the strategy. Specifically, if we focus our energies on “Economic Secession” we can begin to remove support for the systems which do not represent the values and principles we hold dear. What does it mean to economically secede? Quite simply, it’s the old adage of “voting with your dollar” (or euro, pesos, bitcoin, etc). You consciously choose not to do business with the individuals and corporations which you do not believe live up to your standards.

To truly understand this it’s important to understand that money (in whatever form it comes) is a form of currency. Currency is a medium of exchange, something people can trade as a representation of past time and energy. This means the currency, whether pieces of paper or digital bits on a screen, is a representation of your time and energy. Since your time on this planet is finite it is itself an incredibly valuable and irreplaceable currency. When understood in this manner one could say that giving your dollars to corporations which you do not support (and which often actually work against your goals) is akin to throwing away your limited and valuable time on this planet. More…

Facebook Acts as State Censor, Deleting Accounts at the Request of the US and Israel

[Media]
Facebook Acts as State Censor, Deleting Accounts at the Request of the US and Israel
by Claire S Bernish
Posted February 8, 2018

Facebook acts as censor for US and IsraelSocial media critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestine have intimate familiarity with the swift hand of Facebook censorship, facing temporary or permanent account bans, post deletions, and newsfeed suppression more consistently and thoroughly than those focusing on nearly any other issue.

Now, Facebook readily acknowledges not only do the United States and Israeli governments submit myriad such requests pertaining to the ostensive contentious accounts of Palestinian activists and advocates — on the nebulous and subjective grounds of “incitement” — but the leviathan company obediently and readily complies with those demands. And zealously so.

“Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider incitement,” the New York Times reported in December 2016. “Facebook has responded by removing most of them.” More…

Authentic Organic: Always The Best Choice

[Community]
Authentic Organic: Always The Best Choice
By Anne Ross
Posted February 7, 2018

authentic organic has proven benefitsAn ancient Roman philosopher once said, “The greatest wealth is health.”

Choosing organically produced foods has always been, and continues to be, the best choice in nurturing the health of individuals, our communities, and the planet.

At a time when consumers are especially concerned about the integrity and origin of organically labeled food, a familiar question resurfaces: “Is authentic, organically produced food really better for me?”

For starters, numerous studies continue to establish that organically produced food has an enhanced nutritional profile. More…

Reimagine, Don’t Seize, the Means of Production

[Community]
Reimagine, Don’t Seize, the Means of Production
By Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel
Posted February 6, 2018

reimagine the means of productionOne of the most difficult systems to reimagine is global manufacturing. If we are producing offshore and at scale, ravaging the planet for short-term profits, what are the available alternatives? A movement combining digital and physical production points toward a new possibility: Produce within our communities, democratically and with respect for nature and its carrying capacity.

You may not know it by its admittedly awkward name, but a process known as commons-based peer production (CBPP) supports much of our online life. CBPP describes internet-enabled, peer-to-peer infrastructures that allow people to communicate, self-organize and produce together. The value of what is produced is not extracted for private profit, but fed back into a knowledge, design and software commons — resources which are managed by a community, according to the terms set by that community. Wikipedia, WordPress, the Firefox browser and the Apache HTTP web server are some of the best-known examples. More…

The day I found out it was all rigged

[Economic]
The day I found out it was all rigged
by Simon Black
Posted February 5, 2018

the market is riggedSeveral of the largest banks had developed autonomous software that was capable of trading billions of dollars without the need for human beings.

On May 6, 2010 at 2:45PM, their software started to fail… inexplicably selling stocks to the point that prices collapsed nearly 10% in minutes. They called it the Flash Crash, and, even though stocks had largely recovered by the end of the day, the banks lost an enormous amount of money.

Then something interesting happened. Within a few days, the major exchanges announced that they would CANCEL many of the trades that took place during the Flash Crash window. In other words, they were handing the banks their money back.

They were canceling a profitable trade that I had placed during the Flash Crash window, effectively giving it back to the banks. When the banks’ trading algorithms performed well and they all made money, the profit was theirs to keep. More…

Lies We Tell Ourselves

[Social]
Lies We Tell Ourselves
by Major Danny Sjursen
Posted February 4, 2018

lies we tell ourselvesSeven of my soldiers are dead. Two committed suicide. Bombs got the others in Iraq and Afghanistan. One young man lost three limbs. Another is paralyzed. I entered West Point a couple of months before 9/11. Eight of my classmates died “over there.”

Military service, war, sacrifice—when I was 17, I felt sure this would bring me meaning, adulation, even glory. It went another way. Sixteen years later, my generation of soldiers is still ensnared in an indecisive, unfulfilling series of losing wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Niger—who even keeps count anymore? Sometimes, I allow myself to wonder what it’s all been for. More…

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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